By Herman de Tollenaere
First, there was the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
It had disastrous consequences. Millions of people dying and becoming gravely ill worldwide. Including people in or on the periphery of punk bands.
However, many clouds have silver linings. The dark bloody cloud of COVID-19 caused less air pollution and more space for wildlife at some places. Face to face Punk Scholars Network conferences became impossible. But the internet made it possible to attend conferences without having to board airplanes to England, Indonesia or elsewhere.
2020 also became the year in which people of my Leiden, the Netherlands fanzine Pin, founded in 1978, and my Leiden punk band Cheap ‘n’ Nasty, founded in 1979 at a Ruts concert in Amsterdam, reconnected. Rediscovering forgotten photos, live concert recordings, and more. Reconnection by intensive email contact and sometimes spatially distanced face to face contact. Also with Michael of bacteria.nl, a site with much information on Dutch punk bands, fanzines, etc.
The Punk Girl Diaries site in England mentioned there would be a PSN international conference on the internet in December 2020. My PhD thesis is on Indonesian history. I knew there is an important punk scene in Indonesia. So, why not contribute a paper on the role of persons of mixed Indonesian-Dutch ancestry in Dutch punk, 1976-1982?
Me and Cheap ‘n’ Nasty bass/female lead vocals/author of the four songs on our Covergirl EP/Pin photographer and author Terry participated in the conference. It was inspiring. It inspired Terry, Michael and me to start a Dutch affiliate of PSN. Soon, Dr Anita Raghunath of the VU university in Amsterdam, a PSN veteran, joined. So did another PSN veteran, Richard Foster, author of studies on post-punk in the Netherlands. And PSN conference participant Yorgos Paschos of Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
More people are expected and welcome.
Our internet site started and grew. Thanks to Terry and Michael being much better at computers than me, and Bas even better at them than Terry and Michael!